Thursday, February 28, 2013

Talking To The Trees: You are safe.

(This is the third from my collection of essays. To read the first two go here and here.)

I was doing my morning stretching exercises in the woods by the roots of this old – yet newly sprouted – birch tree when I heard, “You are safe.” I’ve always felt a sense of welcoming comfort standing over these roots. I know the tree is a woman, a ‘she’. I also know, she knows me, sees me and watches over me. I can feel her strength and her deep knowledge of life that comes from living on this earth. I also know she hasn’t always been the small birch as she appears now.

Once, not too long ago, she was a large, powerful and beautiful birch tree. I don’t know what happened to her wide branches and full trunk. I do know that she had a choice then to die or be reborn. She chose rebirth. She chose to stay rooted and sprout anew from one of the small suckers at her roots.

Where I stand to do my stretching is, I feel, where she used to stand in all her strength and glory. I can feel the power of her roots under my feet as I stretch my arms down to the ground, outward and then up to the sky. As I reach down, across and up, I feel energy flow between us from her roots to my feet, from her limbs to mine. She has stood by me as I’ve cried and sighed. She’s offered gentle comfort and wisdom. Sometimes, it’s just the warm flow of energy between us that gives me solace. Sometimes the energy is balancing like the arm of a friend around my shoulders. Sometime, when I’m especially fearful and worried and my monkey mind is swinging this way and that, I feel her quiet, rooted strength. Then like an anchor in turbulent sea, I feel myself pulled slowly to a stop and the sea calms.

There are other times, though, when I get a friendly reminder, like a tap on my shoulder, that I’ve gotten a little lost in my own inner woods. At times like these, and I blush a little to admit that there have been many more times like this than I’d like to admit, I hear her chuckle at me. I can almost see her shaking her head at me, a smile on her face, at the mountain I’ve made of some molehill problem.

Her perspective is always refreshing and reassuring. And I respect her wisdom. After all, she’s lived on this earth far longer than I have and seen many, many more people and problems that I ever will. She is a survivor. And it’s her indomitable spirit that I feel so strongly and admire so much. If she can lose almost everything and chose to live, re-grow and blossom, then so can I. Whatever storms blow her way, she stands her ground.

She tells me to do the same, “You are safe.”

I believe her.

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